(Check out the video! My kids had a heavy hand in this one. . .)
As we head into what promises to be a very long winter, many kids and parents are looking at online school and working from home. I gave a Grand Rounds recently at Yale looking at the evidence about the changes that the early lockdown caused to the sleep of children and parents, and came up with some suggestions on how you and your child can sleep better.
- Avoid screen time at night. This one is a no brainer, but it is especially important these days. Limit screen time for an hour before bedtime at least.
- Physical activity during the day makes a big difference.
- Kids and parents tend to shift later their sleep schedule later. This is ok for up to an hour for younger kids and two hours for teens and adults (provided that it works with school and work commitments) but don’t go fully nocturnal. This was incredibly common during the initial quarantine and it is difficult to unwind.
- Structure during the day is key. Write a schedule down and review it every day.
- Protect parents, especially moms. I don’t want to be too heteronormative here, but moms slept worse during dads in the research I reviewed for the talk.
- Protect kids. Exposure to stressful media and stressful talk takes a toll on even very young children. You don’t need to have CNN on all day or talk in front of your kids about your worries.
Earlier on in the pandemic, I wrote more on this topic here, and here’s an article I’m quoted on in the NY Times.
So this is what I’ve got. What survival tips have you found that have helped you to sleep well during 2020? What are you struggling with?